Reducing our environmental impact

We are committed to acting responsibly and have been focusing our efforts on becoming more sustainable in our business operations, and reducing our impact on climate change.

The first step has been to measure, monitor and manage the factors that influence our overall carbon footprint, including energy consumption, business travel and waste.

We have set ourselves ambitious targets to reduce our total carbon emissions (tonnes CO2e) by 50% from our 2019 baseline over the next three years, whilst growing the business, which we are on track to achieve.

Our 2020 target

We also met our 2020 target of becoming a certified CarbonNeutral® organisation, by:

  • reducing our energy consumption through a range of actions in our main sites, such as introducing new LED lighting and better heating controls and boiler maintenance.
  • switching to renewable electricity sources in both our Bexhill and Leicester sites.
  • taking significant steps to reduce waste, for example, by drastically reducing the amount of single use plastics available throughout our sites, and instead providing compostable replacements, cutting down on the use of nearly one million single use plastic items per year.
  • partnering with Natural Capital Partners to support emission reduction projects, offsetting the scope 1 and 2 emissions, as well as the scope 3 emissions under our control.

We have chosen to support the following two emission reduction projects, both of which support our 4Cs values and 15 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

Acre Amazonian Rainforest conservation

This project aims to prevent deforestation across 105,000 hectares of pristine rainforest in the Amazon basin, protecting some of the world’s most biodiverse habitats. With the support of carbon finance, the project works with communities and local groups to help protect ecosystem services while providing alternative means of economic development which avoid destruction of the forest.

Reforestation, East Africa

A community-based project with over 12,000 small groups involving 90,000 farmers in Kenya and Uganda, all working together to re-plant trees and help replenish nutrients in the soil. Forests are often destroyed to create smallholder farmland. The project also helps improve community livelihoods through education and training, and creates additional sources of income beyond smallholder farming.

Further climate action

We have taken our climate action one step further by supporting UK Forest Creation; in addition to providing essential funds to the impactful emission reduction projects above, we are also supporting the creation of new woodlands in the UK.

As a UK-based business it was important to us to also support projects that deliver local environmental benefits. To achieve this we have committed to supporting two hectares of UK tree planting projects, which are delivered in accordance with The Woodland Carbon Code meaning that they must be independently measured and audited. We also continued our work with the Bexhill Environmental Group who planted 520 trees on Bexhill Downs in November and we plan to continue our support in 2021.

The UK is one of the least forested countries in Europe and our support will contribute to delivering natural climate solutions that enhance biodiversity and enrich communities in the UK.

Office activities

As well as dramatically reducing the use of single use plastics from both of our two main sites in the UK, we have taken many steps to make environmental improvements and support sustainability, including:

  • Unsold fresh packaged food is donated to local charities twice a week in Bexhill, avoiding food waste and supporting the community
  • Improved our Cycle to Work scheme – encouraging colleagues to make healthier and more environmentally friendly lifestyle choices
  • Waste electrical and electronic equipment is securely disposed of and recycled
  • A 20% reduction in water consumption has been achieved through better maintenance and installation of water-saving equipment
  • Zero general waste from our Bexhill site to landfill

Further activity

We have extended our environmental focus, to other areas of our business including our customers, suppliers and our investments where we feel we can have the most impact:

Customers and Products
We have an active focus on changing customer demands and attitudes, exploring propositions that support changes in vehicle fuel type as well as changes to usage. We have made a change to the Telematics device packaging which is now entirely recyclable, a 50-60% increase compared to the previous packaging.

Supply Chain
We assess all of our key and critical suppliers against ESG issues, examining their environmental, data protection and human rights policies. We are committed to exploring with individual suppliers how we can help them drive lower emissions.

We maintain an average ESG rating of A on our core portfolio. We aim not to invest in companies that mine and burn coal, produce tobacco or controversial weapons. We work with investment managers and financial institutions which have signed up to the UNPRI.